Reading the best vinyl cutting machine reviews is the best way to get acquainted with this highly valuable machine. The best vinyl cutter machine is a must for any aspiring sign maker and even for a hobbyist. It’s basically a device that is similar to a printer but it has a sharp blade that accurately cuts patterns out of vinyl sheets and other materials. You can also get the right software needed for creating designs. Vinyl cutting machines have become affordable that anyone can buy one, unlike in the past when one would have to get a loan from a bank just to be able to purchase one.
- 1 Usage of a Vinyl Cutting Machine
- 2 What to Know Before you Buy a Vinyl Cutting Machine
- 3 Things To Consider Before Buying a Vinyl Cutting Machine
- 4 Our Selected Best Vinyl Cutting Machine For Personal Use
- 5 Short Review Of Each Best Vinyl Cutting Machine
- 6 Short Review Of Best Vinyl Cutting Machine for Business Use
- 7 Accessories for Vinyl Cutting Machine
- 8 Usage Tips
- 9 Maintenance tips
- 10 Frequently Asked Questions
- 11 For Those Of You Who Are Still Unsure
- 12 Final Word
Usage of a Vinyl Cutting Machine
A vinyl cutting machine can be used for both personal and business use.
Vinyl cutting machines for personal use are a lot cheaper than those for industrial or business use. These machines are also easier to use and occupy a lesser space. Some can even be mistaken for a computer printer because of their size and design. But these machines are versatile and powerful enough to cut through various materials aside from vinyl such as fabric, foils, chipboard, cardstock, and paper. Most units can be connected to a personal computer and thus allow transfer of fonts and designs. The newer units, however, can facilitate wireless transfer of images through Bluetooth or over the Internet.
A vinyl cutting machine for business use, on the other hand, is more expensive and thus more complicated than a machine for personal use. It generally offers more precise cutting and larger printing space than a vinyl cutting machine for home use. It is something useful to cater to the demands of various clients. Signage businesses, custom apparel brands, and home decor businesses are some of the type of enterprises that make use of a vinyl cutting machine for business use. Products ranging from t-shirts, stickers, magnets, banners, among others, can be created with the use of a professional vinyl cutting machine.
What to Know Before you Buy a Vinyl Cutting Machine
Understand the difference between raster and vector images: There are two kinds of digital graphics files: raster and vector images. Vector images consist of geometric shapes like lines, points, and curves. This is the type of digital image widely used in logo designs and print work like brochures and posters. It is created through drawing software like Corel Draw and Adobe Illustrator. This is also the only type of digital graphic files that works with vinyl cutting machines.
On the other hand, raster images are comprised of a set of grids of dots known as pixels. This type of digital file is very much dependent on resolution. When the size of a raster image is changed, it can shrink the pixels that can result to loss of clarity or a blurry image. Raster images are used in web design and editing photographs. A raster image can’t be used with vinyl plotters.
Like in most purchases, you get what you pay for in vinyl cutting machines: If you are wondering which vinyl machines can give the best quality cuts, then the answer is simple—the most expensive ones. You can’t expect to get the highest quality cuts when you buy an entry-level machine.
Have a business plan: If you’re willing to shell out a significant amount of money for the acquisition of a professional vinyl cutter, you should have a business plan so you will know how to recoup your investment.
Things To Consider Before Buying a Vinyl Cutting Machine
Ease of use: As in most products, you would want a vinyl cutting machine to be easy to use. As the best vinyl cutting machine reviews put it, a user-friendly cutting machine has simple and well laid-out controls that even novice users would understand.
Printing Size: For most buyers, this is the most primary consideration in choosing a vinyl cutter. Entry level cutters will only have a couple of inches of printing surface, which means you are limited when it comes to designs. The really good ones will give you at least 12 inches in width, or up to one foot in length. Vinyl cutters for industrial use can even give you up to two full feet in width, so you can create banners and outdoor signage which are really ideal for a signage business.
Types of materials that it can handle: You may just settle with a cutter that simply cuts vinyl, or you may want to look for a machine that can cut through up to 12 different materials. It is more advisable to go with a machine that can work with materials other than vinyl. The reason is that whether you are a hobbyist or a businessman, you’ll likely to expand and go beyond vinyl projects especially when you realize how fun and easy it is to use a vinyl cutting machine.
Included design software: Most of the vinyl cutters that you will come across have a design and cut software. The operation is pretty straightforward—plug in the cutter, connect it to a computer, and then control it through the software that the cutter maker provides.
Warranty and support: One of the improvements in vinyl cutting machines is that these units now have pretty decent lifespans. You can expect these units to last for several years. As you may have read in the best vinyl cutting machine reviews, most warranties range from six months to 3 years. Obviously, the longer the warranty is, the better buy the unit is at least in this consideration.
The Quality of the blades: You should also consider the quality of the blades, as well as replacements. Some cutting machines allow replacement of blades; others won’t.
Safety: This is an important consideration especially if you have children or pets at home. The best vinyl cutting machine has very few moving pieces that may cut or pinch, or pose as choking hazards for kids and pets.
Our Selected Best Vinyl Cutting Machine For Personal Use
Let’s take a look at our best pick personal vinyl cutting machine
Short Review Of Each Best Vinyl Cutting Machine
Here is the short review of all the best vinyl cutting machine that we selected for personal use. These reviews definitely help you to choice the best vinyl cutting machine that is best suited for you.
1. Silhouette Cameo Electronic Cutting Tool
This vinyl cutting machine virtually has no limitations as to the type of designs that it can make. From creating scrapbook layouts, to paper crafts, to making intricate cuts, this electronic cutting tool is one versatile and hard working tool. The Silhouette is getting a lot of rave reviews for its precise cuts, stunning and clean images, and its intuitive software. And unlike other vinyl cutting machines, it is eerily quiet that you won’t be distracting your neighbors when you use it.
- Dimensions: Height 5”(H) X 20.9”(W) X 6.5”(D)
- Weight 12 lbs
- Touchscreen display for easy navigation to control the CAMEO
- Side storage compartment, to easily store additional blades
- Cross-cutter on the back of the CAMEO that allows for straight precise cuts
- Cuts up to 12-inch wide and 10-feet long; cuts a variety of materials from vinyl to fabric
- USB slot for easily loading and cutting directly from a USB stick
- Includes 12-inch cutting mat, Cutting blade, Crosscutter & 50 exclusive cuttable designs
- Includes access to thousands of downloadable designs; Includes PC and Mac compatible software
- It is reasonably priced.
- Great for Scrapbook layouts, cards,custom apparel, vinyl decor, etched glass, sketch designs, and paper crafts.
- It is economical especially when you compare the price per image to those of other vinyl cutting machines.
- The cutting mat is not too sticky unlike those of other cutting tools.
- The software that comes with it is very easy to use; you can import your own photos, fonts, and clip art.
- Its blade is removable and adjustable enough to work on various materials from vinyl to paper and fabric.
- It will occasionally make wrong cuts but this can be fixed by adjusting the settings.
- Needle has a tendency to rip paper.
Summary of Customer Reviews:
Many users are in awe of this machine. Those who say that this is the best vinyl cutting machine cite that it is very easy to use and reliable. One reviewer compared it with another cutting machine called Cricut Expression 2 and he said Silhouette Cameo is the winner. Another customer loved the fact that it hooks up to the computer to do monograms and anything else you can imagine. Hooking it up makes it so much easier. It is hard to dispute those claims. That’s why it comes to the very first of our list.
2. Cricut Explore Air Wireless Cutting Machine
The main selling point of this wireless cutting machine is its app available on iPad and iPhone. With the Design Space app, you can design your devices and then send it to the machine for the cutting. Thus owners who are always on the go can create designs while they are hanging out at Starbucks, and then do the cuts when they get home. The Design Space software is also very easy to understand that even novice users will have no problem using it.
- Dual carriage for cutting and writing or cutting and scoring in one step
- Upload your own images for free (.svg, .jpg, .png, .bmp, .gif, .dxf)
- Cut over 60 materials from vellum to leather
- Smart Set dial for easy material settings
- Free Cricut Design Space online software and iPad app
- Cut Smart precision cutting
- Works with all Cricut cartridges
- Integrated storage compartments
- Cuts out printable images with Print then Cut
- Compatible with PC, Mac, and iPad
- Can create very precise cuts.
- The app is very easy to use; set-up is also a breeze.
- No more cords to get entangled with, as everything is sent to the machine wirelessly.
- You can also send images via Bluetooth.
- The monthly subscription gives you access to more than 25,000 designs and fonts.
- You cannot save your images on a computer, as the design storage is cloud-based.
- You need internet connection to use the software/machine.
Summary of Customer Reviews:
Many owners who argue that this is the best vinyl cutting machine cannot be blamed for saying so. The wireless function of this cutting machine is second to none. One reviewer said the machine is definitely easy to use and his wife had this up and running less than 15 mins. Most of the customers are satisfied with its excellent cut quality. The only real downside is that the machine is practically useless when there’s no Internet connection.
3. Sizzix 660425 Big Shot Cutting/Embossing Machine
For people who call this the best vinyl cutting machine, there are lots of reasons to buy this product. For one, this roller machine can cut and emboss various materials from foam to thick paper like a mat board. It is also sturdy and can be moved around. It’s also simple to use, although the lack of a pamphlet or guide is a bit disappointing.
- Machine Weight: 7.50 lb.
- Machine Dimensions: 14 1/4″ x 12 3/8″ x 6 5/8″
- Materials: Solid Core Steel Rollers, Unibody Cast Roller Housing, Solid Steel Gears, ABS Plastic Exterior
- Portable shape-cutting and embossing roller-style machine
- Works with almost the entire Sizzix product library, as well as other die-cutting and embossing tools
- It has a wide and strong base for cutting and embossing various materials, and keep the machine in its place.
- Does cut through 6 layers of cotton fabric or more.
- Its platform is long to support bigger dies.
- It has a handle that is easy to attach.
- It can make numerous cuts of odd shapes and designs.
- The dies and accessories are reasonably priced; easy to source.
- Most of its accessories need to be purchased separately.
- Lack of information or guide included in the package, which could help first-time users.
Summary of Customer Reviews:
This is one machine that anyone serious in arts and craft should have. It is so easy to cut various designs with this machine. With the Big Shot, you won’t have to spend time and waste effort in cutting odd shapes and designs with a pair of scissors anymore. Reviewers from online store said that it is user friendly and easy to use. Even one customer shifts on this product from another cutting machine. Although only one drawback is identfied by many customers and that is lack of information.
4. Silhouette Portrait
Is this the best vinyl cutting machine? A lot of people on Amazon.com think so. They say that it is compact and user-friendly, with its software comparable to Microsoft Publisher. It is easy to create and cut designs on this machine. You can even have access to thousands of designs on its online store, or design your own using the software of the machine.
- Maximum Cutting Area: 8″ x 12″ (20.3 x 30.5 cm) with a cutting mat, and 8″ x 10′ (20.3 cm x 3 m) with a lined media
- Cut up to 10 feet with a lined media (such as vinyl)
- Maximum Media Thickness: 31.5 mils (0.8 mm)
- Maximum Cutting Force: 210 g
- Compatible Media Types: Vinyl, heat transfer material, cardstock, photo paper, copy paper, rhinestone template material, fabric, and more
- Interface: USB 2.0 high-speed
- Unit Dimensions: 16.25″ x 5.6″ x 4.5″ (41.3 x 14.2 x 11.4 cm)
- Unit Weight: 3.5 lbs (1.6 kg)
- Warranty: 1 year parts and labor
- PixScan™ technology compatibility – create designs from pictures.
- Very easy to use/learn, that even first-time users will be able to operate it within minutes.
- Easily connects to a PC, with a built-in library of 50-plus designs.
- There’s a $10 gift card included in the package; it is accepted in Silhouette’s online store.
- It has a small footprint thus it won’t take up a lot of space at home.
- Made by U.S.A.
- Can make almost every design.
- Some users complain that it is a bit noisy when it is in operation.
- The manual guide has incomplete information, like how to align the mat.
Summary of Customer Reviews:
Many users who speak highly of this unit cite that this vinyl cutting machine is very user-friendly and versatile. They also like that it is portable; something they can share with their friends when making scrapbooks, cards, and other crafts. Many reviewers satisfied that the image library is wonderful and you can find almost any image. Although Some customers complain that the blade settings that Silhouette suggests are not accurate.
5. Vinyl Cutter USCutter MH 34in BUNDLE
Many satisfied owners of this unit say that this is the ideal vinyl cutter for beginners. It’s an entry-level cutter that won’t be able to cut out a very intricate design.But it should be good enough to cut stickers and create personalized items from t-shirts, sweaters, and hoodies. It is also easy to set up which bodes well for people who have little knowledge of vinyl cutting machines. And it has a very reasonable price—something the budget-conscious buyer will likely appreciate.
- Maximum Cut Width: 30.63″
- Maximum Cut Length: 8 feet
- Motor Type: Stepper
- Max Speed: 39 in/s
- Force: 350g
- Two fully adjustable pinch-rollers
- Lifetime phone support.
- Roland compatible blade holder
- Very easy to set-up and use.
- Cuts well and can create various designs.
- It has a very affordable price.
- It has lots of accessories included in the package so you can get started right away.
- Manufacturer has excellent customer support team.
- User information is very limited, but you can always go to YouTube to learn how to better use this unit.
- It’s not the most compact or portable in this list.
Summary of Customer Reviews:
This may not be the best vinyl cutter machine in this list but you can be assured of a dependable cutting machine with this unit. Moreover, the price is very reasonable so you will not really hesitate on getting this cutter. One reviewer is surprised about negative reviews that he can’t understand why people give it a negative reviews. But he claims that the unit is very large. In our sense, it is a above than average unit.
Short Review Of Best Vinyl Cutting Machine for Business Use
28-inch USCutter Titan 2 Vinyl Cutter with Servo Motor
If you want to have a successful business, then this is the vinyl cutting machine that you should get. It can create a great range of patterns thanks to its design and cut software, allowing you to give in to the whims of even the most demanding of clients. Its laser point helps in contouring cuts around graphics, with a high precision axis for greater accuracy in cutting. You can also manually contour cuts with this vinyl cutter.
- Maximum Media Width: 28″
- Maximum Cut Width; 24″
- Dimensions: 38″ x 13″ x 17″
- Blade Types: Roland compatible
- Driving Method: Friction feed
- Max Cutting Length: 300 in
- Max Pressure: 750 g
- Max Speed: 37 in/s
- Memory: 512K/4MB; CPU: 64bit DSP 32MFlash
- Noise: Very low
- Number of Pinch Rollers: 3
- Power Requirements: Works on 110-120v @ 3amp or 200-240v @ 2amp
- Repetition Accuracy: 0.0003in (0.01 mm)
- Resolution: 0.0254 mm/pulse
- Motor Type: Servo
- Cutter is Mac & PC compatible. Software (VinylMaster Cut) is NOT Mac compatible
- Carriage with 4 wheels.
- USB interface.
- RS-232 connection
- Large LCD display & control panel for adjusting speed and cutting force.
- You can create a lot of patterns with this unit, no matter how intricate or detailed the designs maybe.
- Very easy to operate.
- You can pause the cutting and restart it when something goes wrong with the unit’s emergency stop/start feature.
- It comes with three TITAN blades, stand assembly tools, blade holder, and pen holder.
- It is backed by a two year warranty with lifetime phone support.
- The unit doesn’t come with a dust cover.
- It is very expensive although this should be expected of professional quality vinyl cutters.
Summary of Amazon buyer's Review:
Many entrepreneurs who are into the signage making business agree that this is the best vinyl cutting machine as shown by its impressive qualities and features. One of the customers praise of its high quality materials. All the customers are agree that It is easy to put together.
Accessories for Vinyl Cutting Machine
You will also find the following accessories for vinyl cutting machine very useful:
- When selecting the blade depth and cutting speed, it is ideal to begin with a slower cutting speed first. Increase the cutting speed only when you are certain that it won’t leave areas marred by a fast moving blade.
- It is recommended that you perform a test print before working with your tools. This would make you determine that the machine settings are compatible with the tools you have.
- To prevent bubbles and wrinkles from wrecking havoc on your applications, you can use an air release tool for popping air pockets. Just don’t use a razor blade or knife as these can damage the vinyl.
- Keep the unit clean. Prevent buildup of vinyl debris inside the unit, particularly in the blade holder as it can impact the proper rotation of the blade.
- Make it a habit to inspect the blade holder from time to time and eliminate any debris.
- Check the blade regularly by using a magnifying glass.
- Vinyl cutters are very sensitive to dust. Thus you should always cover your unit to prevent dust from getting inside.
- Power surges caused by lightning storms can damage your cutting machine. Thus it would be wise to buy a surge protector to safeguard your vinyl cutter.
- Make sure that the cutter protection strip is always clean and free of debris. You can do this by simply wiping your finger along it every morning.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What software do I need to use?
Answer: A vinyl cutter often has its own software that you can use to create basic designs. You can also use the software to feed pre-existing templates to the unit.
2. Are there other programs that I can use to improve my designs?
Answer: Yes. You can use popular design tools like Corel Draw, AutoCAD, and Adobe Illustrator to improve your graphics or design.
3. What is the ideal size of a cutting machine?
Answer: It depends on your purpose. But for hobbyists and makers of small crafts, a cutter that has a cutting width of 9 to 12 inches should suffice.
4. When do I replace the blade?
Answer: Inspect the blade first. If there are chips along the cutting edge, then it may be time to shop for a replacement.
5. How long does the blade last?
Answer: It really varies depending on the application, although most blades have a cutting lifespan of 5 miles.
For Those Of You Who Are Still Unsure
If you are still uncertain what is the best vinyl cutter machine today then we’ll pick the one unit you ought to get the Silhouette Cameo Electronic Cutting Tool.
As this best vinyl cutting machine reviews and buying guide emphasized earlier, the Silhouette Cameo has almost no limitations on the kind of designs it can create. Whether you are a hobbyist or an aspiring businessman, you can rely on the Silhouette Cameo for a number of tasks like creating scrapbooks, paper crafts, and the like. It is well recommended for its precise cuts, clean images, and intuitive software.
And if your budget is limited and you are searching for a quality unit then oviously you will go for the Sizzix 660425 Big Shot Cutting/Embossing Machine.
You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand why the best vinyl cutter machine is a very valuable tool for people who are into arts and crafts, as well as those looking to start their own signage business. There’s just no limitation on the creations that a vinyl cutter machine can make.
And with the wide range of models available on the market, you can choose a vinyl cutter that suits your needs, budget, and expertise level. Whichever vinyl cutting machine you get, you will likely not regret buying one because of the many benefits you will get from it.